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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

176                         BYZANTINE CHURCHES                       CHAP.
formed the peculiar treasure of the church of the Holy Apostles,
This being so, Mr, Siderides argues3 on the strength of the tradition under review3 that the remains of the last Constantine also were brought from the church of the Holy Apostles to S. Theodosia under the circumstances described.
As to the position of the imperial tomb when thus transferred to the church of S. Theodosia, Mr. Siderides insists that it cannot be in the chamber in the south-eastern dome pier : first3 because the religious veneration cherished by Moslems for the grave in that chamber is inconsistent with the idea that the grave contains the ashes of the enemy who, in 14535 resisted the Sultan's attack upon the city ; secondly, because the inscription over the doorway leading to the chamber expressly declares the chamber to be the resting-place of Christ's apostles. Hence Mr. Siderides concludes that if the tradition before us has any value3 the tomb of the last Byzantine emperor was placed in the chamber in the north-eastern pier3 and finds confirmation of that view in the absence of any respect for the remains deposited there.
To enter into a minute criticism of this tradition and of the arguments urged in its support would carry us far beyond our scope. Nor does such criticism seem necessary. The fact that the last Constantine was buried with royal honours affords no proof whatever that he was laid to rest in the church of the Holy Apostles. If he was ever buried in S. Theodosia3 he may have been buried there from the first. The lateness of the date when the tradition became public makes the whole story it tells untrustworthy. Before a statement published in the early part of the nineteenth century in regard to the interment of the last Byzantine emperor can have any value3 it must be shown to rest on information furnished nearer the time at which the alleged event occurred. No information of that kind has been produced. On the contrary, the only contemporary historian of the siege of 1453 who refers to the site of the emperor's grave informs us that the head of the last Constantine was interred in S. Sophia, and his mutilated